Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The skies must wind up clear, at night, down in Tyler, Texas. While not all of the Duprees, former Duprees or married and hyphenated Duprees still live in Tyler, the songs that Eisley writes are indebted to the memories of a clutch of moonlight that shines brightly. It's a moon that glows like a beacon. It's held up there by some miracle and it burns down through the darkness like an adversary to it, wanting nothing more than for people and things to bask in its dim light, rather than succumb to the evil and echoed darkness - that derivation of blindness and feeling misplaced. Moonlight surely can be bright, but only relatively. It could be better, if we were able to get closer to its source, but that's not really an option, so the Duprees are stuck with the faraway beams and the amount that those beams feel like they can let trickle down. The moonlight is something like sustenance for Eisley, as the concept of it introduces itself often in their songs, maybe as a means to soften the hardness of any troubles that they might sing about, that they're snagged upon. It's something that's out there - seen or unseen, depending on the cloud cover - that is watchful. It can only offer guidance if one knows how to read it, but it's mostly just there for comfort.
Eisley songs deal with dear friendships and the relationships that family members have, getting those loved ones shaken out of their funks or depressions. The depressions come home to roost too, like on "192 Days," a song that recounts the exact number of days that two people spent being together, learning about one another. If the exact number, in a situation like that is known, there's a fair bet that things aren't easy - in fact, they must be extremely difficult. Memories are festering and guilt and sadness are rotting the heart out from the inside.
"Ambulance" is a song where the line, "And you say that I'm gonna be okay/And yeah I'm gonna be okay/But it doesn't seem that way/Oh, no love, not today," is being brutally honest about what's happening. There's a demand for an ambulance, for the wounded. You could argue that the injuries were self-inflicted, but then that wouldn't have been a true relationship - where there's plenty of blame to go around, where there's still some bloody, pulsing hope for a turn-around. There are two people in the song, "Laugh It Off," who are burying their losses together, with a mantra of, "If we wait for summer/It will get better than this." It's as if there's always magic in the moonlight that ushers out one day and then hides - or fades into the light blue sky of the next.